Margaret Hair's column appears Fridays in the 4 Points arts and entertainment section in the Steamboat Today
. Contact her at 871-4204 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Thursday, September 27, 2007, 7 p.m.
- Steamboat Smokehouse, 912 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs
/ $40 - $45
Steamboat Springs Dori Weiss won't tell me what five movies she plans to show in her "Dinner and a Movie" series, which will be held at the Steamboat Smokehouse for the next five Thursdays.
Won't tell me the directors either.
What Weiss will tell me is the choices come from a list of the 25 most influential filmmakers of the 20th century. She also mentioned that, without trying to grandstand it, she knows what she's talking about.
"Probably what makes it most interesting for people is my background. I had a 25-year career in Hollywood both as a studio executive and a producer to movies, so that's what I bring to the party, " Weiss said.
Each screening starts at 7 p.m. and includes a privately catered dinner with salad, dessert and nonalcoholic drinks (a full bar is available at the Smokehouse).
Weiss will talk about why each director made such an impact - editing, shooting, casting, scoring and the stories they chose to tell - and point out things to watch for during dinner.
"Because these directors are so influential, they had a very specific point of view every time they stepped behind the camera," she said. "They're very committed to a certain type of film."
After the show, Weiss will lead a discussion over coffee and dessert. The sessions are $40 each if you commit to all five, and $45 to drop in for one night.
Aside from Weiss's deconstruction of the film's influential elements, the series offers a chance to see movies in public you might normally watch alone. An audience adds a lot to the experience, whether the movie is influential or not.
"There's the experience of watching a movie with other people - that sort of tribal thing that comes out that we don't get when we get a little Netflix or Blockbuster at home," Weiss said.
For example, the most fun I've ever had at the movies was a hip hop radio station's preview screening of Michael Bay's "Bad Boys II," because the plot of that movie is ridiculous, and everyone in the audience knew it.
Coincidentally, Bay is the only director Weiss named, unprompted, as someone who could not hold a candle to the filmmakers on her list.
The theme for the last series, which was held in fall 2005, was "Five Films That Rocked the World." Among those were "Network" (which television shows such as "Fat March" and "Kid Nation" have solidified as one of the most important films of its time), "Citizen Kane" (widely considered the best movie ever), and the Academy Award winning "Crash" (you probably don't want to hear my opinion on the Best Picture status of "Crash").
After putting the series on hold for a year, Weiss said she decided to bring it back after enough people sought her out in the grocery store.
By withholding the titles of the films this time around, Weiss hopes to give her part of Steamboat's arts and entertainment scene an element of surprise. And by keeping the directors a secret, she hopes to keep anyone from assuming they won't like the choices.
"I've never had any complaints about that, about what films I was showing," she said, adding that a few people weren't immediate fans of Paul Haggis.
Editor's note: Margaret Hair is a part-time bartender at the Steamboat Smokehouse. She had no part in planning this event.